Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media


  • Push to decriminalise ice use as bar backs public health approach

    The model draws on the approach taken in Portugal, where personal drug use was decriminalised in 2001
    The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
    Wednesday, June 26, 2019

    australia police methThe personal use and possession of ice and other illicit drugs would be decriminalised in NSW under a public health-driven plan backed by the Bar Association and other top lawyers. In a submission to the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug Ice, which began public hearings across the state last month, the association says that criminalising personal drug use "may result in greater harm to the individual, and to society more broadly", than the harm caused by the use of illicit drugs. Under the Bar Association's plan, the production, trafficking and supply of illicit drugs including ice and other amphetamine-type stimulants would continue to be criminalised.

  • Global marijuana use rose by 60 percent over the past decade

    More people than ever are smoking weed around the world
    Deutsche Welle (Germany)
    Wednesday, June 26, 2019

    The global story about cannabis — the most-used recreational drug in the world — is about as fuzzy as your body feels after taking your first hit. While some places, such as states in the US, have legalized the drug, it is strictly prohibited in others. Almost 200 million people smoke pot worldwide according to the 2019 World Drug Report, and that number is rising. Whether this is a good or bad thing seems somewhat hard to decipher with inconsistent global regulations on the drug, conflicting research studies and little concrete evidence of its long-term effects. But how can we decide whether to condemn or support the devil's lettuce when our own governments can't seem to figure it out?

  • Illegal drug classifications are based on politics not science – report

    Global Commission on Drug Policy calls for a reclassification of drugs including cocaine, heroin and cannabis
    The Guardian (UK)
    Wednesday, June 26, 2019

    Illegal drugs including cocaine, heroin and cannabis should be reclassified to reflect a scientific assessment of harm, according to a report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy. The commission, which includes 14 former heads of states, said the international classification system underpinning drug control is “biased and inconsistent”. A “deep-lying imbalance” between controlling substances and allowing access for medicinal purposes had caused “collateral damage”. Such damage included patients in low- and middle-income countries forced to undergo surgery without anaesthetic, to go without essential medicines and to die in unnecessary pain due to lack of opioid pain relief. (See also: What is the most dangerous drug? |Regulation on substance abuse disproportionate to health risks, says report)

  • Switzerland aims to legalise medical marijuana

    Just how insurers will handle reimbursement for medical marijuana will be dealt with separately
    Reuters (UK)
    Wednesday, June 26, 2019

    The Swiss government aims to make it easier for patients to get medical marijuana, proposing to allow prescriptions for cannabis to treat people suffering from cancer or other serious conditions. The proposal, separate from a Swiss government push to allow some cities to experiment with recreational marijuana, would replace the current system, in which those seeking medical cannabis must apply for an exception from the Federal Health Office to get what is otherwise an illegal drug. Marijuana is sometimes used to help cancer patients manage chronic pain, to help boost their appetites, and to reduce spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis. "The proposal makes it possible for doctors to directly prescribe cannabis as part of their treatment," the Swiss cabinet said in a statement.

  • When poppies don’t pay

    With a stark decline in the price fetched by opium gum, Mexico’s government should take strides toward making crop substitution proposals a reality in Guerrero
    Foreign Policy (US)
    Monday, June 24, 2019

    “Then and there, I went to sell it, because I needed the money,” sing Los Armadillos, a band from La Sierra in the Mexican state of Guerrero. The popular song, “Cosecha Nocturna” (“Night Harvest”), is about growing and selling opium poppies, a crop that campesinos, or small-plot farmers, have relied on in the mountainous regions of La Sierra and La Montaña for decades. But that could be about to change. Between 2017 and 2019, the price per kilogram of the gum scraped from the flower fell from $1,059 to $265, making it much harder to earn a living from cultivating poppies. And, as farmers petition the government for subsidies to replace that income with traditional crops like corn, beans, and avocados, there’s a chance it could be a change for the better.

  • French economists tell government to legalise cannabis to bring in extra €2.8bn

    Based on annual consumption of 500 to 700 tonnes a year, taxes on legal pot could bring as much as €2.8 billion to the state and create up to 80,000 jobs
    The Local (France)
    Friday, June 21, 2019

    france bientot legaliserA group of French economists have recommended legalising marijuana, arguing it would add billions to state coffers, but President Emmanuel Macron's government ruled out letting recreational users get legally high. The Council of Economic Analysis (CAE), a body tasked with advising the government, noted that despite having some of Europe's toughest drugs laws, the French are the continent's heaviest users of pot. Around 700,000 people are believed to use the drug every day. "The system of prohibition promoted by France over the past 50 years has been a failure," the CAE said in a report, accusing the ban of fuelling organised crime. The report, which was not commissioned by the government, comes amid a growing debate in France over whether to legalise recreational marijuana.

  • Légalisation du cannabis : le Luxembourg enfume l’ONU

    Le projet de légaliser le cannabis au Luxembourg va à l’encontre de la convention de l’ONU sur les stupéfiants
    Le Quotidien (Luxembourg)
    Jeudi, 20 juin 2019

    luxembourg cannabisLa volonté du Grand-Duché de légaliser le cannabis récréatif est clairement opposée à l’engagement pris pour limiter l’usage de cette substance à des fins médicales ou scientifiques. L’Organe international de contrôle des stupéfiants (OICS) confirme que «la légalisation du cannabis à des fins non médicales par un État parti à la convention de 1961 constituerait une violation manifeste des obligations juridiques qui lui incombent». Cette limitation reste «un principe fondamental auquel aucune dérogation n’est permise». La tournure diplomatique pour répondre à l’OICS est que «le Luxembourg reste engagé en ce qui concerne la mise en œuvre des conventions et reste ouvert à discuter avec les autres pays et organisations des problèmes qui résulteraient éventuellement de la légalisation nationale».

  • Des députés de plusieurs bords plaident pour une légalisation contrôlée du cannabis

    Des députés de quatre groupes politiques, dont certains LRM, vont déposer jeudi une proposition de loi en faveur d’un monopole d’Etat pour la production et la vente du cannabis en France
    Le Monde (France)
    Mercredi, 19 juin 2019

    france cannabis2Un monopole d’Etat pour la production et la vente de cannabis. Des députés de quatre groupes politiques, dont certains du parti présidentiel, prônent une « légalisation contrôlée » du cannabis, dans une proposition de loi. « La constitution d’un monopole pour la production et la vente du cannabis par la création d’une société nationale, la SECA (Société d’exploitation du cannabis), permettra de réguler la production et la vente tout en contrôlant la consommation », estiment ces députés qui devraient. La vente serait interdite aux mineurs, imagine cette proposition de loi. Un arrêté du ministre de la santé fixerait par ailleurs le taux autorisé de tétrahydrocannabinol (THC). (Lire aussi: L’appel de 70 médecins, élus, économistes : « Pourquoi nous voulons légaliser le cannabis »)

  • Dagga high on new Eastern Cape premier’s list

    The premier said they wanted to have a fully-fledged dagga industry in the province
    City Press (South Africa)
    Wednesday, June 19, 2019

    A flourishing dagga industry is high on the agenda of new Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane, especially in the Pondoland area, where locals have been farming the wisdom herb for a long time. If he has his way, Mabuyane says he intends to formalise the cultivation and trade in dagga which he says would have immense economic benefits for the people in the province. Mabuyane said those who had been growing dagga illegally for years would have to be embraced. “My attitude is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but [we] must affirm those people who have been in the industry formally or informally, and set up cooperatives, formalise them and make them understand that they must work within the law so that we maximise opportunities out of this,” he said.

  • Cannabis legalisation lobby hopes for meeting with the President

    George Vella expressed reservations about extending the legal use of the drug
    Times of Malta (Malta)
    Wednesday, June 19, 2019

    malta reform nowCannabis legalisation lobby group ReLeaf has expressed concern at 'reservations' by President George Vella on extending legal use of the drug beyond medical care. President Vella said that “as a doctor and a father” he had reservations about how wise it would be to extend the legal use of cannabis beyond medical care. Speaking at a conference on drugs and mental health, Dr Vella said he preferred to rely on the advice of experts in such matters. In a statement, Releaf expressed concern that there continued to be "poor understanding of why and how a legalised and regulated market could operate." The scope of a legalised and regulated market, the group said, would be to address the very basic of concerns surrounding cannabis and cannabis use.

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